No Walk in the Park

By Laura Gordon

Just for the record, having plantar fasciitis (PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus) is no walk in the park. The first thing you will notice, if you should ever experience plantar fasciitis, is a very painful heel when pressure is applied particularly in the morning when first getting out of bed or after you’ve been sitting long time in one position and you get up to walk across the room. The good part is that the pain subsides after walking for a while, but the bad news is that planter fasciitis will be a part of your life for a while.

How does anyone get planter fasciitis? Primarily it is due to strained ligaments whose job it is to support the arch in the foot, possibly torn from too much of an inward roll of the foot when walking called pronation (see image), other factors include over weight, poorly fitting shoes, or maybe walking, standing or running for long periods of times on hard flooring.

Techniques to use:

1. A critical part of the treatment is stretching the plantar fascia. Sit erect on the floor with legs straight in front and toes pointed to the ceiling, hold the two ends of a belt and loop the belt over the ball of the foot with plantar fasciitis, slowly pull your hands toward your body and feel the stretch in the foot. Do this several times for a total of 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Placing the foot across the other leg, use the thumb to work deep into the heel of the foot starting at the Calcaneus via the Achilles’ tendon work around the ankle and down the heel, end with deep cross fiber friction at the base of the arch of the foot. Though it’s painful, repeat this procedure several times at each treatment.

3. Using a golf ball roll the heel of the foot over the ball in all directions using 10 to 20 pounds of downward weight on the ball.

4. Using ice or cyotherapy will reduce pain and inflammation. Ice packs can be used regularly until symptoms have disappeared

Life style changes to make:

1. If you do a lot of walking and or standing look into getting properly measured and fitted orthopedic inserts for your shoes.

2. Be sure to take pressure off as often as possible by elevating the foot. The more this can be done the better. Just remember the less stress on the foot the quicker the healing time.

3. Using a night splint is a great overnight tool in the healing process. While sleeping the splint gently stretches the plantar fascia and calf muscles preventing them from getting tight during the night.

4. Taping is another successful tool; applied in strips it helps by supporting the plantar fascia relieving stress of the fascia which in turn allows healing to occur.

With care and consistent attention the symptoms disappear anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Prevention of plantar fasciitis starts with keeping your ankles, feet and toes flexible. Be sure to include range of motion when you give yourself a foot massage each night before going to bed. Working deep into the tendons on the pad of each foot will be most helpful as well.

24 thoughts on “No Walk in the Park”

  1. I work on the feet the most because the stress of the body is mostly held the feet. i know this works. I have friends that this has help

  2. This has come at a good time. I just discovered that a friend is going through PT for plantar fasciitis. Maybe she will let me work on her, with a doctors note of course. 🙂 It will be a good experience.

  3. I had no idea about this.. The blog was very helpful and I will try these techniques on a few people that have complaints similar to this.

  4. Yep…had bi-lateral planter for a while. Due to overtraining for marathons. These techniques work. And they will work on your clients. For orthotics I recommend Ideal Feet at 61st and Mingo.

  5. I tend to want to shy away from feet for some obvious reasons, but am learning what an amazing foot massage can do to benefit not only rounding out an awesome massage experience and having healing, medicinal properties as well.

  6. Great info and reminder of the importance of not leaving out the heels when doing foot massage. Like the ideas for homework and stretching with a belt – (i used a woolly scarf) felt good all over ball,heel and sole. Gotta love foot work 🙂

  7. I have had plantar Fasciitis and it is very painful. Would of loved to have these exercises!! Hopefully I wont have to use these stretches on me, but will keep them for someone who does need them to help them not be in pain!

  8. Thanks, very useful information. I will test out the belt technique it sounds like a good way to get a stretch. I don’t actually have plantar fasciitis, but occasionally it tightens up and hurts. Like this morning!

  9. This is very interesting! I never really thought of it as an actual problem. Very good and useful information!

  10. Thank all of you for your comments. It’s a comfort to know that sharing information on Plantar Fiasciitis can and will be used to help others who suffer from this malady.

  11. This is a good one to take home with you, I have serverly elderly people that come into my place of business and tell me about them having this problem all the time. I am so glad to be able to actually be able to tell them how to help with their pain and to make sure that they can have as comfortable life as possible. Thank You for the Info Laura.

  12. Thsnks so much for this information. My mom has been suffering from this for years has had little relief. I sure hope I will be able to help her with this treament plan. THANKS AGAIN!

  13. I never would have even thought about doing anything for my feet! My feet evert more than normal, I’m looking forward to trying something nice like this for my feet.

  14. I work on the feet the most because the stress of the body is mostly held the feet. I mostly work on my moms feet becouse she is a diabetic and somehow it helps her so it works

  15. My husband just started talking about how he thinks he has this. He says he has had this for more than 10 years, but that it only really bothers him when he reaches a certain weight level. Is it possible for this to come and go like that based off of the difference of a few pounds? Thank you for the technique to help him begin to feel better

  16. Awesome techniques for Plantar Fiasciitis! If I ever get it, I plan to try these out for myself and also great for client homework if any of my clients have this problem.

  17. I had no clue about any of this, but if i ever come across anyone with this I will keep this blog in mund.

  18. So that’s why my heal hurts. I guess I have some homework to do now. Thanks for the heads up, Laura.